Young Conaway Partner William D. Johnston Elected Chair Of The American Bar Association’s Business Law Section

September 12, 2016Press Release


Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor is pleased to announce that partner William D. Johnston has become Chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Business Law Section. He will serve a one-year term. 

“I am honored to have assumed this role within the ABA,” said Johnston. “I look forward to partnering with other leaders of the Business Law Section to build on the Section’s core values: serving its members, the profession, and the public by providing educational resources; ensuring ethical and competent representation; and furthering the development and improvement of business law.” Johnston sums up his vision for the coming year as “one of moving forward together – embracing and celebrating diversity and inclusiveness, promoting opportunity for all, and re-imagining what is possible for the Section and its members.” 

“I have known Bill for 50 years and have worked with him here at the Firm since the 1980s,” noted James L. Patton, Jr., Chairman of Young Conaway. “We are pleased that our colleagues in the ABA Business Law Section have recognized him with this honor. Bill’s depth of corporate experience and legal insight is sought after and highly valued by members of the Bar in Delaware and across the country.” Johnston will be the third Delawarean to serve as Chair of the Business Law Section in the Section’s almost 80-year history. The Honorable E. Norman Veasey served as Chair in 1994-95, and The Honorable Thomas L. Ambro served as Chair in 2001-02. 

Johnston concentrates on corporate and other business counseling and litigation, with an emphasis on Delaware Chancery Court practice and Delaware Superior Court Complex Commercial Litigation Division practice. He is a past chair of Young Conaway’s Corporate Counseling and Litigation Section. 

A special focus of his practice is advancement and indemnification under Delaware law, and he has written and spoken extensively on those subjects. He also has substantial ADR experience, both as counsel and as an arbitrator or mediator. Johnston has been certified as a mediator by the Superior Court of Delaware and is a member of the Mediation Panel of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. In addition, he is a member of the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals of CPR: International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution. He also serves as an expert witness and as a Special Master. 

Johnston is a past president of the Delaware State Bar Association. He is a past member of the Board of Bar Examiners of the Delaware Supreme Court. He serves in other leadership positions within the ABA, including as State Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates. He is a past president of the American Judicature Society. Johnston also is a past member of the Delaware State Human Relations Commission, having served for 24 years by gubernatorial appointment. He is a former co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee. 

Johnston earned his bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and his J.D. from The Washington and Lee University School of Law. He served as Law Clerk to The Honorable Daniel L. Herrmann, Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court. Johnston is married to The Honorable Mary Miller Johnston, a Judge of the Delaware Superior Court. They have two adult daughters.

With nearly 50,000 members, the ABA Business Law Section is one of the Association’s largest sections. Its members include law students, lawyers, law professors, and judges throughout the world. 

Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, one of Delaware's largest law firms, counsels national and international clients handling sophisticated advisory and litigation matters involving bankruptcy, intellectual property, corporate and alternative entity law. Young Conaway also guides regional businesses through a myriad of employment, education, real estate, tax, estate planning, environmental, and banking issues.